Life with Sampson and Delilah….The 411

Archive for the ‘Ultimate Blog Challenge’ Category

Which Would Scare You?

As I’ve mentioned previously, the local LaCrosse team has commandeered our field, which makes getting into the park on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays a bit difficult.  The way I’ve been managing this is by trying to get home on my lunch hour on Mondays and Wednesdays in order to get our walk in.

On Saturdays I just wait until later in the day.

My friend has it easy, as her entrance is not anywhere near the field.  Today it dawned on me, all I have to do is use the alternate entrance.

DUH!  WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS BEFORE?

I made a very crude drawing of our walking area and the two entrances.  You may laugh if you’d like, I’m well aware that I am not an artist. 🙂

I told you it was crude.

The brown dots represent trees but there are probably a lot more.  There are a couple of other trails as well, but for simplicity sake (and my poor drawing abilities) I kept it to a minimum.

We arrived at the entrance the same time as a man on foot.  I asked him if he’d mind if I let the dogs out.  He didn’t.  He was a thin man, glasses and a golf cap.  He kind of reminded me of a geek.  We sort of walked into the woods together, chatting a bit.

Just after we entered the woods Sampson saw someone and took off.  A few seconds later a jogger ran past.  He was big and beefy.  I apologized for Sampson and he said, “He’s a nice dog.”

Now which man would make you nervous if you were a woman walking alone?

Yup, it was the nerdy guy that freaked me out.  He was heading down the orange trail so I stayed on the yellow. We did a quick cut through and went to the orange trail in the opposite direction.

I usually carry my camera in my back pocket but I switched it out and put my pepper blaster back there.   When we eventually found our way to the orange trail, Delilah’s leash snagged a really large stick.  I picked it up and used it as a walking stick.

Luckily for us we did not run into either guy again, but we did have a scary dog encounter.

It took place up near the entrance we had used.  I was planning on walking the dogs down the orange trail for a bit.  Sampson was up near the entrance while Delilah and I had started on our way.  I called Sampson but he didn’t respond.  I looked and saw him still and stiff.

I started walking toward him and that’s when I noticed Tia the German Shepherd.  We have walked with Tia before but it was a long time ago and Tia has grown into quite the big girl.

Sampson was tall and stiff  and while Tia wasn’t in a full poised to spring position, she wasn’t standing tall either.  I called to Sampson over and over again, but he wouldn’t turn his head.  Meanwhile Tia’s mom was calling Tia with no response either.

I saw Tia’s lip raise in a slight snarl.  I had Delilah on leash and didn’t know what to do.  I couldn’t approach Sampson with Delilah because I know she would have dove right into the middle of it, but I had no-one to hold her either.

Thankfully Tia’s mom got in there and diffused the situation enough so Sampson turned and started back towards me, then Tia feeling brave since Sampson’s back was toward her, ran closer to Sampson to get a good sniff in.

At that point I realized there was not going to be a dog fight and so Delilah and I approached and Delilah rushed right up to Tia who ran towards her mom with her hair all up on her back.

Later as we were leaving the woods I saw Tia’s other mom walking in, baby on her hip and Tia on leash.  I stopped my dogs and put Sampson’s leash on and waited until they had chosen the path leading away from us, then we left the way we’d come in.

Yes there was a bit of excitement but it really was easier than trying to get thru the LaCrosse people to get to the woods.

And I’m happy because I have my lunches free again. 🙂

And truthfully, the two dogs staring each other down scared me way more than the geeky man.

To Boldly Go Where No Dog Has Gone Before

Yesterday I shared a little bit about an early morning walk I took with the dogs on Friday.

I had sent my friend a text asking if she and Brady were around for a walk, but hadn’t had a response back.  I figured we would just head her way and see if we ran into them.

On our way, we ran into one of her neighbors, Mark and his dog Bruno.  Since he was heading the same way we were, we walked together, chatting a little as we went.

The best way to describe our walking trails is like this:

My road ends in a cul-de-sac, if you went straight you would head up a hiking path to the field, just before the field the path heads up the hill to the right and if you went straight out that path you would enter another cul-de-sac.  My friend’s house is the second house on the right hand side.  The first house belongs to M & M who have Tia, the German Shepherd.

Just as we got to the top of the trail, near my friend’s house Bruno and Delilah started to play.  I made the mistake of dropping the leash.

As soon as I dropped the leash she stuck her nose to the ground and she headed out of the woods and into my friend’s neighborhood.  I snagged Sampson and said, “Go, Go, Go, Go, Go, Go” and started running back the way we came.

Delilah kept going.

I quickly realized she wasn’t responding, so Sampson and I turned around and headed out to get her.

Meanwhile Mark and Bruno were walking home and I could see Mark trying to get Delilah’s attention, but she ignored him.  She had wandered into M & M’s yard and their garage door was open.

Yup, Friday morning at 7:00 o’clock, Delilah walked right into M & M’s garage.

I was horrified.

Mark meanwhile had started walking down the driveway and was almost to the garage.  I got to the end of the driveway and started down myself, Delilah decided she was done in the garage and stepped off to the side thinking she could head over to Brady’s house, Sampson  meanwhile saw the open garage and decided to investigate like Delilah had.

Luckily for me as Delilah dodged out of the garage, Mark stepped on her leash and handed her back to me.  Sampson returned when called and we headed back into the woods to finish our walk.

Whew!

I will not be dropping her leash again anytime soon.  I swear to God, if she falls down a friggin rabbit hole, I’ll hold onto that leash and follow her down.

Change It Up

I discovered something yesterday.

I had taken the day off to attend a memorial service for a beloved uncle of one of my SIL’s.  The service was about an hour’s travel time from where I live and I knew when I got back I had errands to run to get ready for today’s cookout.  I decided to walk the dogs early.

Like First Thing In The Morning Early.

I rolled out of bed after another night of tossing and turning and pulled on my hiking clothes, gathered up my equipment (treat bag, pepper blaster, poop bags, camera, cell phone and keys) and off we went.

We kept the walk at just about a half an hour, which put us back at the house right around 7:20 am.  Twenty minutes after the dog’s scheduled feeding time.  But I didn’t feed them.  Oh no.

Because they are big dogs and both deep-chested, I worry about bloat.  So I waited.  Wondering how this was going to work with the food obsessed chocolate lab?

I added warm water to their necks and set them in the microwave to warm up.  I made a pot of coffee, then I took a shower.  When I came out of the bathroom Delilah was curled up on the bed.

Sleeping.

I got dressed, and walked out of the bedroom.  Delilah followed me.  I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down to check out blogville.

Delilah curled up on the couch and went to sleep.

I got up, went into the kitchen and pulled the necks out of the microwave.

Nothing.

It wasn’t until I opened the pantry to get the Salmon Oil out that she meandered her way into the kitchen.

We played the ‘one strike, you’re out’ game (which she lost) and I put her in the crate.

By the time they actually got their breakfast is was almost an hour and a half late.  And she had not bugged me the entire time.

My thought is this, if you have an active dog and typically take her out when you get home from work, consider changing it up and trying to get her out for a quick walk in the morning.

I’m thinking by changing it up, you’ve given them something else to think about.

What about your dogs, are they scheduled?  Is there any way to incorporate some change into their routine?

Tomorrow I will share just what Delilah DID on our early morning walk.  It’s a doozy.

Follow-Up Friday

For those new to the blog, my follow-up Friday provides me with an opportunity to update or revise a post from the previous week.

You know sometimes you post about something and you need an update but it doesn’t warrant a whole blog.  Or sometimes someone made a comment that really resonated with you.  Yup, Follow-Up Friday baby! :-)

Dogs Think Like – Author’s Note/Update

If you thought that post was funny, I’m glad.  I was trying to inject some humor into my situation with my dog. 🙂

I was dead serious about the green bean though.  She is that focused.

She is responding very well to the one strike you’re out rule.  I give her the opportunity to sit at the edge of the kitchen as I begin food preparation.  If she raises her butt off the floor, she goes into the crate.  I put her food down and only when she is being calm will I release her from the crate.  I’m even getting her to the point where I can open the door and she must wait until I give her the release.

She has actually sat two times for the entire food preparation and I think that is PROGRESS!!

I must share that she does not sit quietly in the crate, she does whine a bit, but I am ok with that.

For all your suggestions and tips, I thank you!!

Bold And Beautiful – Author’s Note

I should have noted I tried to set her up once by putting a number of soda cans with pennies in them on a cookie sheet and putting a treat behind the sheet.  Somehow she managed to get the treat and only knock one can over so that back-fired on me.

Kari from Hound Girl had a suggestion that I really liked.  You know the plastic mats you get for your rolling chairs?  The ones that let you roll on carpet?  You get those and set them upside down on the counter, which will hurt their little paws without shocking them.

Me likey.  Thank you Kari!

W.T.F. Wednesday – Author’s Note

Well judging by the comments, W.T.F. Wednesday was a big hit.  I’m glad you all enjoyed it.  I will certainly be on the lookout for the animal stories that make me say, WTF?

Thank you so much for all the pawsome comments!  And if any of you find something that makes you think, “W.T.F” then please feel free to use it if you’d like.

Can I Bring My Dog – Update

I was happy that you all agreed with my decision.  It helped me feel better about making it, knowing that you all thought I was being reasonable.

My cousin and her boyfriend are perfectly fine with my decision.  She did send me a picture of Riley letting me know he wasn’t as big as I imagined.  🙂 In the picture he is laying on his side in the sun, just like my Sam Man likes to do.   He looks like a really nice guy, but I still stand by my decision.

For some reason my computer and phone aren’t communicating so I can’t post his picture. 😦

That’s it for us, hope you have a pawsome week!  Enjoy the weekend.

 

Can I Bring My Dog?

We’re having a cookout on Saturday.  It’s actually our Easter dinner.  You may recall I was in Florida on Easter, so I decided our family gathering would be a cookout.

I got a text last night from my cousin who asked, “Can my boyfriend bring his dog?  He’s a good dog as cool as Sampson, you will love him.  You will want to blog about him.”

My immediate response was yes!  Of course, all dogs are welcome at my house.

Then I started to think of the logistics of it.

  • People will be coming and going. Some people can only make it early in the afternoon and some can’t make it til later.  I figure this will go down in two waves.  The early crew and the late crew.
  • Hubby and I will be busy, he will be cooking and I will be monitoring the food to make sure Delilah does not eat it.
  • We will not be able to watch the dogs or monitor their meeting as closely as we would like.
  • My friend’s dog is a 120 pound Bull Mastiff…..I picture him like this:
  • Sampson can get snarky with male dogs, especially those that are bigger than he is.
  • Little children will be running about.

I started to get a feeling.  Not one I could put my finger on, just a feeling way down in the pit of my stomach.  I thought back to the party I was at where I was the only one sober enough to drive the hysterical mother and her sobbing son to the emergency room so he could get his ear sewn back on after being bitten by a dog.

I sent my cousin a text: “I’ve been thinking about the dogs.  I hope you understand, Sampson can get snarky with other dogs especially males that are bigger than he is.  I’m concerned that Hubby and I won’t be able to keep an eye on him like we would want to and with the little ones around it makes me a bit nervous.  Could we wait on this?  Hubby and I can have you, H and his dog over when it is just us and we can see how Sampson does.  Sorry to be such a nervous Nellie…..if the grand kids weren’t going to be there it would be entirely different.  I will tell you a story on Saturday that is weighing heavy on my heart and guiding me with this decision.”

She understood of course.  If she didn’t she wouldn’t be one of my oldest and dearest friends.  And I don’t mean I wouldn’t speak to her, what I mean is she knows me and she knows my heart and my love for animals and she knows I wouldn’t make this decision lightly.

She said her boyfriend won’t come without his dog, which makes me sad but I understand.

Just as I have to do what I feel is right for my dog so he succeeds, her boyfriend feels he must do what is right for his dog.

What do you think?  In a situation such as I just described, would you have someone bring their dog if your dog(s) had never met them before?

W.T.F. Wednesday

Warning, you are about to enter……the Potty Mouth Zone.

If you know me, you should know I am prone to swearing.

Honestly, sometimes the ‘F’ word comes out of my mouth more often than not.  My husband was in the military, he’s finally (after 22 years of marriage) toned it down some, but in the beginning it wouldn’t be out of the norm for him to say, “Pass the f***ing” salt.  It was one of his bad habits that I picked up. 😦

Oh I try, I really do but to me, the ‘F’ word can really make a statement much more powerful.

One of my favorite examples is Custer’s last stand. When you compare these two sayings, I think it’s very clear which one is more powerful.

Custer, “Where did all those Indians come from?”

OR

Custer, “Where did all those f***ing Indians come from?”

You get my point?

Sometimes I like to use the military terminology, “Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot” but most of the time “What the f***” is what comes out.  Of course if I’m texting, it’s WTF.

Basically I decided to take a play on Wordless Wednesday and change it to WTF Wednesday.  It may be a weekly post or it may just be an occasional one, I’m not sure yet.  But what inspired it was some news stories regarding animals I’ve seen in the last week.

Mitt Romney

Usually I don’t watch the news, I find it too disturbing, which is probably why I missed the Mitt Romney story when he ran for office in 2008.  If you haven’t heard about it (were you under the same rock as me?) you can read the whole article here.  The gist of it is, he put his dog in a crate and strapped it to the roof of his car and drove for 12 hours.

From what I can gather, he did this quite often and both he and his wife swear that the dog liked it.  Except for the time the dog was sick and messed all over the car.  According to Mrs. Romney it was because the dog got into some turkey on the counter and the dog had the ‘runs,’ and had absolutely nothing to do with cars and tractor-trailer trucks flying by them on the highway, while he was strapped in a crate to the luggage rack, and the  luggage rode comfortably inside the car.

The incident took place about 30 years ago, and I realize it was a different time and animals were treated differently but Mitt, WTF?  Really?

Then as if I wasn’t mad enough his response when asked if he’d do it again was, “Certainly not with the attention it’s received.”

Ok, so what you’re saying is if people didn’t know and react negatively, you’d do it again?

Again Mitt, WTF?

Then I started thinking (tongue in cheek) maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad trait to have in a president.  If terrorist were to say….take his wife or one of his children hostage and they let’s say…..shit their pants, well he certainly wouldn’t bend.

He would simply say, they liked being held hostage.  He could take all the emotion out of the situation.

Man Pulls Horse Behind Truck

Yes it happened in CT about 20 minutes from where I live.  I saw it on my facebook news feed and was totally disgusted.  After reading the article I could follow the old guy’s reasoning but still old guy, WTF?

You don’t drag ANY living thing behind a f***ing truck!!

That’s it for my WTF Wednesday.  What did you think?  Siriously, if you hate it, I won’t do it again.

Bold and Beautiful

Delilah’s obsessed with food.  She is constantly in scavenger mode.  When I’m in the kitchen she is either under my feet or sitting guard in the doorway, prepared to dive head-first under the cabinet to catch a bread crumb.

You cannot leave food on the counter or table, if you do, it’s fair game for Delilah.  After we fix our dinner plates, we have to immediately put the food away, or put it in the oven or microwave to ensure Delilah won’t snag it as soon as we finish eating.

She’s not afraid to go into the sink and grab a dirty dish, or plastic bag so she can bring it out into the living room and lick it clean.

That also holds true for the stove and no, she doesn’t care if it’s on or not.  If memory serves me, she has taken a cooking hot dog out of the pan.

Once when I was at the sink, literally three feet behind her, she took a piece of chicken out of the pan.  Yes, she’s that bold.

When I put water on the stove for pasta I always add a little oil.  Delilah loves oil.  She will lick the oily pasta water and given the opportunity will lick strait oil right from the pan.   I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into the kitchen to find water or oil flicked all over the stove and had to dump the entire pan and start over.  I finally got smart and put a lid on it.

As many times as I’ve caught her licking something out of the pan, I’ve never been able to get a picture of it.  Until recently.

Yes, my bold and beautiful dog trying to get a french fry.

Do you have a counter surfer in your house?  Have you found any creative ways to break this habit?

Go, Go, Go, Go, Go

In yesterday’s post I mentioned Delilah had a little off-leash hike. If you’ve been reading for a while you know there are certain areas Delilah is prone to running off to.  One of these areas is in the field.

When we entered the park I unclipped her leash and gave her freedom.  I think off-leash works best for Delilah if I try to keep her focus on me, so I call her back to me quite frequently.  She was returning every time I called.

We went to the field.  There was one time where she turned and started running away from me and she didn’t respond to my call.  I turned around and said, “Sampson come.”

As soon as I knew I had his attention I started running the other way and I said, “Go, go, go, go, go, go, go” really loud as we ran away from Delilah.

Do you know that worked?

And the only reason I can think why is that I sometimes psyche the dogs into going outside by giving them a little pep talk.  I think the excitement in  my voice tells her something exciting and fun is about to happen.

Of course I don’t know this with any certainty, but it makes sense to me.

After the field we made our way up the trails and then started back down towards the rail trail.  As we approached the rail trail I leashed Delilah again, and shortly after that we ran into the couple I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

Naturally we got to talking about dogs. This couple had a Husky for 14 years.  The man said he used to walk his dog every day and was so in the habit that he continues to do so.  He also said he always walked his dog off-leash, there was an older man that he used to encounter and the man always said, dogs were meant to run free and not be leashed.

He went on to say, times have changed and people have changed.  There are so many people out there on the rail trail now walking their dogs, but they don’t want you to look at their dogs or pet their dogs and he’s not sure what happened.

I’m not really sure what happened either.  I don’t remember when it changed, but it certainly has.  I don’t ever remember our childhood dogs on leashes.  Is it because our parents didn’t walk them?  Or because there were fewer people?  Have people grown less tolerant of dogs? What do you remember about dog etiquette from when you were a child?

After we parted ways, I kept Delilah on the leash.  I felt like it was best to end our walk with her remaining successful.

And she was.

Sunday Morning Hikes

We had a weather prediction for (much-needed) rain today.  The rain was supposed to start early this morning and get to be a down-pour by the afternoon.

My plan was to walk the dogs early before the heavy rain started.  I will walk them in the heavy rain, but prefer the lighter stuff when given the option.  While it was cool and overcast (yay, no bugs) the rain held off.

In CT our weathermen (and yes, most of them are men) only have about a 50% chance of being accurate.  Honestly, if I was only 50% accurate in my job, well…..I wouldn’t have one.  But this post is not about weather.

I figured if I hit the trails early and with the cooler weather, we wouldn’t encounter a lot of people on the trails.  And I was right.

The trail system we walk has access to a rail trail.  Whenever we approach the intersection, Sampson gets excited.  He knows people are down there and he wants to go and greet them.

There is a section where two different trails run close together.   When the trees are full, I’m not sure if you can see the other trail but as the trees are just beginning to fill-in here, you can see easily see the trail.

I saw a couple, walking up from the rail trail.  It is a couple we have run into before.  The last time they had their daughter’s dog with them, but today they were alone.

If I see people before the dogs do, I rein them in.  In Sampson’s case I just say, “Sampson No” and he will either sit or wait.  Very rarely will he run ahead if I give him that command.

Today he stood, looking.  The couple stopped and acknowledged us and I asked, “Can he say hello?”

The man responded, “Of course.”

I swear Sampson understood the conversation because as soon as the words had come out of his mouth, Sampson was charging through the brush towards the couple.

Of course once Sampson was on his way Delilah needed to say hello too.  I dropped the leash and after she had greeted them, she turned right around and ran back to me!!

That’s not the end to the story, but it is the end to this blog post.  Tune in tomorrow to hear about the rest of Delilah’s off leash hike.

Dogs Think Like…..

I have a theory and it goes like this.  Dogs have lived with humans for so long, they’ve begun to think like us.

Hear me out.

Men

In general I think most women will agree that men think with a certain part of their anatomy.  Come on you’ve heard the saying, “Think with your big head and not with your little one.”

You’ve probably all known a man in your life who deals with a woman just not right for him.  When you question him or encourage him to move along you find out that he’s really hanging around for the little somethin, somethin that he’s been getting.

When they are not thinking with their little heads, they are logical thinkers, linear even.  Let me think this through, if I do this then this will happen and so on and so forth.

Women

Women think with their hearts.  When they fall in love, they’re in for the long haul, it takes a lot to break the love of a woman.  After all, the heart wants what the heart wants and there is no denying the heart.  When you question your woman friend who’s in a bad relationship, undoubtedly you will get “But I love him.”

The different thought process of men and women holds true during an argument.  The man is thinking, I should just give in and then we can have make-up sex, while the woman is thinking, we have to talk this thru so my heart stops hurting.

Children

Children think with their souls, they are so pure and innocent and most don’t know about being bad until we teach them.  No Johnny, that was a bad thing to hit the cat.   “Ahh, what is this bad that you speak of?  Tell me more…”

But what does that have to do with dogs?

Ah, I’m glad you asked.

Dogs

They are like men in the fact that they think logically.  Hmm if I plop my butt on the ground when she tells me to sit, I get a treat.

Most of them aren’t opposed to a little humping either. 🙂

Dogs are like women because they love with their whole heart.  They love so unconditionally and want so desperately to please us, which is one of the reasons they have been our companions for so many years.

They are like children because their souls are pure and really haven’t known evil until we introduced it to them.  Seriously, until man got involved there was no such thing as a bad dog.

Delilah

Delilah thinks with her stomach.

I. Kid. You. Not.

This dog is so obsessed with food that I’m afraid I am going to have to find a different way to train her.  Her “Gotcha Day” is coming up at the end of next month.  On that day we will celebrate five years.

Five years and I still haven’t been able to teach her to wait while I prepare her meals.

I walk into the kitchen and pull out their food bowls and she goes wild.  She is jumping, running and barking.

Oh the barking.

It. Drives. Me. To. Drink.  Yes, many nights I pour myself a shot of Tequila while I am waiting for her to settle down.

(I kid.)  But now that I think of it….

I digress.

I’ve tried ignoring her with no results.

I’ve tried looking at her and this works for a few seconds.  Then she is up on her feet again.  If she does sit, she is usually very vocal, barking or whining as if that could actually make me hurry up. (Ok, it might, if I thought it would shut her up, but I refuse to give in.)

Meanwhile, the Golden Boy is sitting where he has been told to sit and patiently waiting while Delilah and I (or Hubby) do this crazy, mosh-pit dance.

The last couple of days I’ve taken to ignoring her completely and just feeding Sampson, and then Bob, and then Sampson’s second course.  All the while Delilah is standing there looking at me, tail wagging in anticipation.

Hubby likes to use the intimidation method (which I hate) and stand in front of her with his hands on his hips.  I recently said, “I don’t want you intimidating her like that” and he said, “I”m not intimidating her, I’m blocking her.”

Ooops, I guess Hubby’s thinking with his big head because if he was thinking with the little one he’d know he’s not scoring any points with me on this one.

Sometimes I will ask, “Do you want to go in your crate?” She understands this enough to settle down and truthfully I could just put her in the crate when it was time to prepare her meals and just let her out when I was ready for her.

Training

She is equally as difficult when I try to use the clicker and food.  She is so focused on the food in my hand, that she absolutely cannot comprehend what I want her to do.

I’m. Not. Kidding.

I left a comment on a blog once where I asked, what do you do if the dog is too focused on the food.  The author suggested using food with lesser value.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was using a green bean.

This is the part where I throw it out to you.  Would you simply accept the fact that Delilah will never be able to sit quietly while her meals are being prepared and just put her in her crate, or would you try a different method of training?

I’m all ears.

And just for the record, tonight when we tried to get her antics on video, she sat like a perfect dog.

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